Hope you all had a successful queen rearing year !

I am definitely improving but still lots to learn and a few mistakes along the way. Accepting losses at each stage is just part of it I guess.

Grafting was good fun this year. Did 3 main rounds then another 2 rounds to fill in grafts not taken. I used a mix of mini-nuc lysons and apideas as well as a "bespoke" design made by my kids from Lego.

My first limited attempt in May was a disaster. The grafts went well, incubator worked well but for some reason after putting virgins in the hives with new bees and leaving for a day to get used to each other I opened them on site and a lot of the bees were lethargic and looked starved or overheated ? Really odd. Only a few had any sign of queens after that and many absconded.

In contrast June was really good for mating with 12 queens from 14 mini nucs. July was a awful with rain and out of 12 mini nucs I had at that time only 7 produced mated queens although these 7 were nice. The last few were put into hives back from the heather that had gone queenless only last week.

My wee boy also managed to graft about 14 takes and we now have some hives headed by his Lego apidea queens

Improvements next year ? Earlier grafting, better stocking of mini-nucs, more regular checking (as always this is an aim!!), make up nucleus hives to take the mated queens so I can add new virgins into apideas.

Hive with frames.jpg Construction of lego apidea

Full of bees.jpg Full of bees !

Red 7.jpg Lego queen red 7